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ELLIOT, Daniel Giraud (1835-1915). A Monograph of the Pittidae, or, Family of Ant Thrushes. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1863.
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ELLIOT, Daniel Giraud (1835-1915). A Monograph of the Pittidae, or, Family of Ant Thrushes. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1863.

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ELLIOT, Daniel Giraud (1835-1915). A Monograph of the Pittidae, or, Family of Ant Thrushes. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1863.

2° (544 x 350mm). 31 hand-coloured lithographic plates heightened with gum arabic, after Elliot [26], P.L. Oudart [3], E. Maubert [1] and A. Mesnel [1], by C.F. Tholey, printed and coloured by Bowen and Co., Philadelphia. Full-page letterpress table. (Occasional light spotting, variable light offsetting, skilfully-repaired marginal tear on title.) Contemporary half green morocco gilt by W.S. Hil[-], spine gilt in compartments, gilt edges (extremities a little rubbed and bumped, rebacked retaining original spine). Provenance: American Museum of Natural History, New York (partially-erased inkstamps on title and versos of plates).

FIRST EDITION IN BOOK FORM. THE FIRST OF ELLIOT'S CELEBRATED SERIES OF MONOGRAPHS. As he states in the preface, Elliot's chosen illustrator was Paul Louis Oudart 'of Paris'. However, Oudart died after completing just three plates, and, left without an illustrator in America whom he could work with, the author undertook the task himself. The resulting plates are 'of a delightful, rather primitive character' (Fine Bird Books, p.53), while the hand-colouring of the plates by Bowen (praised by Elliot in the preface) has a more pastel-like quality than that of later monographs. The Pittidae (which are principally found in the Indian Archipelago, but are also natives of Australia, Japan and Africa), charmed Elliot by their 'beautiful and varied plumage' (p.7). First issued in six parts in 1861-1863 and first published in book form in 1863, Elliot's Pittidae was reprinted in 1867 and revised and enlarged for a second edition in 1895. Fine Bird Books p. 95 ('**', erroneously calling for 32 plates); Nissen IVB 292; Whittell pp.225-226.
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